Choosing a divorce lawyer can be one of the most important decisions you make in the entire divorce process. While recommendations from trusted friends and colleagues can help narrow your search, you should never hire an attorney without vetting whether they are, indeed, the right choice for you.
Be sure to ask the following questions when meeting with a prospective lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida:
- What is your experience in the area of divorce? Feel free to ask how many divorce cases they have handled and how many of those they have been able to settle out of court. How long have they been practicing family law? Are they a “certified family law specialist”? Are they familiar with local Family Court judges and how they rule? Also, be sure to ask them about their experience with the particular issues that will be important in your divorce–child support, large financial settlements, business issues, parental alienation, timesharing (visitation and custody), etc.
- What is your approach to divorce? What is their strategy for your case? Find out if they practice collaborative divorce and/or are open to the mediation and negotiation. Be sure that their approach is in line with your beliefs.
- How will you handle my case? Learn whether they will be handling your case personally or in tandem with other attorneys in the firm. How heavy is their current caseload? How can you get a hold of them if you need to? Will you be kept informed of all developments in your case? Furthermore, will they ask your opinion before planning strategy?
- What is your fee structure? Understand how you will be charged. What is their retainer fee and hourly billing rate? Are there extra fees if the case goes to divorce court? What other extra fees will there be? How much will they charge for letters and phone calls to your spouse’s attorney or to you?
- What do you do that is different from the other divorce attorney? Learn this potential attorney’s policies regarding communication with clients. How will they keep you informed about the developments in your case? How do they establish reasonable expectations regarding the results of their cases? How do they keep their clients involved in their cases? How do they educate their clients regarding the statutes and case law that might be involved in the issues in their case? When asking these types of questions, you can tell whether your potential attorney has a systematic approach in how they will deal with you and the issues in your case during your divorce (whether simple or complex).
Take your time and be sure you are comfortable with your lawyer’s background, approach and fee structure. Then, once you have decided on an attorney, do not move forward until both of you have signed a fee contract.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A.The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.
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